Place spaghetti squash on a rimmed sheet and bake ~20 to 30 minutes
Remove spaghetti squash from the oven, either cool slightly or use mitts to slice off the stem and cut spaghetti squash in half length-wise. Remove seeds with a spoon
Place both sides face up onto parchment, add salt and pepper to taste and return to oven, bake an additional 20-30 minutes, depending on size.
When squash is tender and strands can easily be pulled away from the rind with a fork, remove from oven
Allow to cool a few minutes or using mitts, “spaghetti” the squash: using a fork, gently rake the inside of the squash, producing long strands
Remove all spaghetti and place in a bowl, allowing steam to escape (so it doesn’t get too soggy)
Heat a pan over medium-low heat, add spaghetti squash, butter and olive oil
Using tongs, gently coat the spaghetti squash in the olive oil, add a generous amount of salt to taste as you coat the strands in oil, check for flavor by tasting
Add sauce to pan with spaghetti squash, use tongs to mix thoroughly
Using tongs, transfer spaghetti squash to plates or bowls
Garnish with Romano cheese (or Parmesan), fresh basil, and halved cherry tomatoes as desired
Spaghetti squash come in different sizes… For small spaghetti squash, initially bake for 15 minutes and check if it is easily pierced with a knife. If not, throw it back in the oven for another 5 minutes and check again. Small spaghetti squash may only nee 40 minutes total cooking while large may need 1 hour!
Dairy free: omit butter and just use olive oil to coat spaghetti strands, use nutritional yeast instead of cheese
Whole 30 use ghee or omit butter and just use olive oil, use nutritional yeast instead of cheese
Veggies like spaghetti squash and tomatoes are packed with micronutrients–these are more than just vitamins and minerals but powerful plant compounds that improve health!
Spaghetti squash have powerful anti-oxidants that neutralize free radicals and reactive oxygen species which damage cells and DNA.
Veggies like spaghetti squash and tomatoes have fiber that is so important for our digestive systems! Fiber is something we can’t digest, but it helps to clean out our gut and also provides food for our microbiome!
Supports a Healthy Microbiome
Our microbiome is all the good bacteria in our gut–it does amazing things like providing protection, helping to digest food, supporting our immune system and making neurotransmitters (and MUCH more!). The good bacteria LOVES veggies like spaghetti squash and tomatoes!
Healthy Fat: Olive Oil
Olive oil has been touted for years as a healthy oil, but the health benefits come from the micronutrients in it and not just the compostion of the oil. Olive oil has hydroxytyrosol, olecanthal, and oleuropein among others phytonutrients that are shown to be antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuro-protective, vascular-protective, anti-cancer, joint-protective and so much more! But all these phytonutrients are not heat stable so adding a good amount of olive oil after cooking really boosts its protective ability!
This spaghetti squash marinara contains no gluten and is low carb!
Gluten is a sticky protein that can cause Leaky Gut and promotes inflammation! Too much inflammation is like lighting your body on fire!!!
Let the kids “spaghetti” the squash! If kids help make the meal they are more likely to try it! Also, let them add the garnish, like sprinkling the cheese!
Cut the squash strands
The long spaghetti squash strands may be too long for kids to handle or chew. Cut them up into spoon-ful bites!
Try a lick
Sometimes a bite is a big commitment for a kid… Get them to try a lick first–just lick some of the spaghetti squash marinara–if they like the taste, they will be more likely to try a bite!
Pharmacist, Chef, and Mother of Twins!
Hi! I’m Julie! When I’m not chasing my twins around, I am creating simple, healthy meals that busy moms and kids will love!
I’m here to help! If you are feeling overwhelmed about changing your diet, tired of scouring the internet for recipes that you think your family will eat, and stressed out from all the meal prep– I can help you!
Let’s have a chat! In the Healthy Family Breakthrough SessionTM we will develop a clear path for your family with the first Healthy Baby StepsTM to take so you can get started immediately! The Healthy Family Breakthrough Session is complimentary ($250 value), my gift to you to help you get started! Plus you will get the Healthy Family Breakthrough PlanTM and my CUSTOM MEAL PLANTM Trello board as well! There is no obligation–just a friendly chat…
You don’t have to do it alone! What if you had a Chef and Mother holding your hand as you took baby steps making healthy changes???